The Solution: Inclusive Democracy

“The very essence of democracy is that it reflects people power and not simply the constitutional choice of enlightened elites.”[1]

Inclusive Democracy(“ID”) is a “bottom-up” form of democracy that is achievable in Canada today. This Inclusive Democracy holistic model is the beginning of the evolution of democracy in the Inclusive Democracy Era. 

Inclusive Democracy, in addition to enabling the generation of new initiatives, affords the Canadian Assembly (i.e. Parliament) the opportunity to solve the problems left hanging by the warring politicians during the current Exclusive Democracy Period. The government must learn to focus on the needs of the nation; all of the people and all of the country. A political party should not be the focal point, let alone be in focus at all.  Polarization around issues and aspirations will be far more productive than polarization around “how to get elected”?

Following is a partial list of unresolved matters anxiously awaiting the arrival of an Inclusive Democracy Canada Assembly:  rising inequality … entrenched bigotry … Indigenous Nations matter …  languishing legislated matters … increasing economic regionalism … economic deserts … ensuing migratory problems …        

Inclusive Democracy can embrace and resolve these languishing issues, which often have been given no more than lip-service as political parties alternated their dominance in government . Don’t you have to ask yourself, “Why have we let this go on for so long?”. It would probably be accurate to suggest extinction is never easy for those entities that are about to lose an election or become extinct.

The central feature of Inclusive Democracy is the independence of the Elected Representatives(“ER”), and thus the Canada Assembly(“CA”). All CA debating and voting will be open, unfettered by political party or other elites. 

The Canada Assembly comprised of 339 independent ERs, including a voting ER appointed by the Assembly of First Nations(“AFN”)*, ensures interests of all Canadians will be considered in initiatives regardless of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of each initiative. Each ER will be equally responsible to their constituency and to Canada.

(*Note: The need for First Nations voting representation in the Canada Assembly is recognized. I do not have solution for this difficult urgent problem. The problem must be top of the list for Inclusive Democracy. The foregoing text suggests a solution, but it is only intended to be an acknowledgement the need).

Inclusive Democracy puts the power of constituents  in the hands of their Elected Representative. The ER will carry their power to the Canada Assembly where it will be included  in policy formation deliberations. Resulting policy proposals will be forwarded to the Commission for review. A Commission report will be returned to the Canada Assembly to inform the pending pre-vote debate, following which, the proposed policy will be voted on.  (Note: The Commission will be similar to the Senate of today).

Since confederation the political elites have controlled democracy in Canada. Now is the time to change the system. Canada is an ideal venue for introducing the holistic Inclusive Democracy model to the world. Evolved Canada Democracy will be positioned and designed to continue to evolve as the world goes through this period of severe disruption, and into the future. Now is the time to begin to erase the very real notion that, “the world is a mess”.

“I have emphasized that democracy cannot be expected to function satisfactorily unless the vast majority of the people in all classes are resolved to abide by the rules of the democratic game and that this in turn implies that they are substantially agreed on the fundamentals of their institutional structure.”[2]

From the presumed introduction to the world of democracy in Greece 2600 years ago, the Era of Exclusive Democracy has prevailed. While democracy in practice has evolved somewhat, it has remained exclusive. Evolving to Inclusive Democracy will put the power of the people  in the hands of their Elected Representatives who will carry the power to the Canada Assembly to be included  in policy formation deliberations; bottom-up all the way.

Sun Rises on Inclusivity

A sunset over a body of water

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Photo Courtesy of David Constable

Evolving to the inclusive government model will be disruptive – it will be revolutionary. We can either choose Inclusive Democracy or leave it to the elites to choose for us. For more than two Millenia the choice was not inclusivity. We can do better. This is a “call to arms”- A Revolution to save democracy is necessary.

[1] Diamond, Larry. The Spirit of Democracy . Henry Holt and Co. Kindle Edition. Appendix – “The Spirit of Democracy”.

[2] Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) – Joseph A. Schumpeter  HarperCollins, Publishers – Third Edition (2008)